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Friday, January 18, 2008

Mr. Cowhey: a wanted man (for DNA)

I was recently contacted by the webmaster of the Coffey/Coffee Y-DNA Surname Project, Fred Coffey. He asked me to lead him to some men in the Cowhey family who would consider having their DNA tested to determine a link to the O'Cobhthaigh family of Ireland (the original surname from which Coffey and Cowhey originate).

Fred had been unaware of the Cowhey connection to the Coffey family until I wrote about it here at Small-leaved Shamrock. After making the discovery of this connection, I was happy to find the Coffey DNA project and wrote about it in response to the Carnival of Genealogy's genetic genealogy edition. This carnival, which was hosted by Blaine Bettinger of The Genetic Genealogist on November 4, got me thinking about DNA testing and what it might do for our understanding of various branches of my family, including the families that are the main focus of each of my genealogy blogs. In response to Blaine's request to send him inquiries about genetic genealogy, I wrote the following posts:

An additional post, Calling all Ó Cobhthaigh, Cowhey, Coffey cousins! included a basic introduction to the value of DNA testing and specific information about the Coffey/Coffee/Cowhey project.

If you have a general interest in DNA testing and its value to family history, you may be interested in what I've written in the various posts listed above. You can also find a wealth of information on the subject of genetics and family history at Blaine Bettinger's The Genetic Genealogist.And if your name is Mr. Cowhey, you are a wanted man. If you have an interest in participating in the DNA surname project, please contact the project administrator or check out the Coffey DNA project page.

P.S. An extra bonus of doing the testing might be that you discover a link to Dr. J. Russell Coffey. Russell, the centenarian who was the last oldest remaining soldier who had served World War I, had his DNA tested and it is filed with this project. Russell was 109 when he passed away last month. If you're hoping you share his longevity gene, this might be the place to find out. (For more on his story see this video interview with Russell done by a Toledo, Ohio television station.)

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